On Monday (July 13), a man vandalized the newly painted Black Lives Matter street mural in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan. The unidentified man was caught on camera walking over to the mural and tossing red paint over the yellow letters before fleeing the scene on foot.
Soon after the incident, the city had the original mural restored. “To whoever vandalized our mural on 5th Avenue: nice try. [Department of Transportation] has already fixed it,” Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted. “The #BlackLivesMatter movement is more than words and it can’t be undone.”
Oscar Vela was able to capture the entire incident on camera. “I was a little speechless at first cause I couldn’t believe that was happening in front of me,” Vela told CNN. “I yelled for his name and he ran away. Sad to see this happen in NYC.”
Authorities are now asking for the public’s help to identify the suspect as they investigate the vandalism. “WANTED for CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Do you know him? On Monday, July 13 at 12:03 pm, he approached a mural in front of 725 5th Avenue and poured red paint on it,” NYPD News tweeted, along with the video of the criminal act. “If you have any information, call/DM @NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS. All calls are anonymous.”
Last week, two Trump supporters were charged with a hate crime after they used black paint to vandalize a Black Lives Matter mural in California. Nicole Claudia Anderson and David Richard Nelson each face three misdemeanors — violation of civil rights, vandalism under $400 and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.
One witness, who filmed the vandalism, asked the man and woman what were they doing. Another bystander asked, “What is wrong with you?” Nelson, who wore a red hat and shirt that read, “Trump” and “Four More Years,” claimed racism did not exist. “We’re sick of this narrative,” he said. “The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism. It’s a lie. It’s a lie.”
Check out the video of the incident below.